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About Christopher

Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Netwroks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He runs MuniNetworks.org as part of ILSR’s effort to ensure broadband networks are directly accountable to the communities that depend upon them. More

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 26, 2017

Trump’s FCC Pick Bodes Poorly for Net Neutrality & Broadband Competition

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/trumps-fcc-pick-bodes-poorly-for-net-neutrality-broadband-competition/

Donald Trump picked his FCC chairman much earlier than anyone expected, though Ajit Pai is not a very big surprise. Formerly a lawyer for Verizon, Pai has been a constant voice in favor of large incumbent cable and telephone positions, especially opposing the Open Internet Order, known more commonly as network neutrality. Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 10, 2017

How 2017 Will Transform Broadband Opportunities for Local Governments

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/how-2017-will-transform-broadband-opportunities-for-local-governments/

StateScoop – January 10, 2017 Commentary: Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance predicts new connectivity opportunities and an altered broadband landscape as a pro-business Trump administration prepares to disrupt the status quo. This may well be the year of local government broadband solutions. For some communities, it will be because they are prepared… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Oct 27, 2016

Google Fiber Pauses – But No One Else Should

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/google-fiber-pauses-but-no-one-else-should/

Google Fiber has finally announced its plans for the future after weeks of dramatic speculation that it will lay off half its workforce and give up on fiber-optics entirely. Google has now confirmed our expectations: they are pausing new Google Fiber cities, continuing to expand within those where they have a presence, and focusing on… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Minnesota’s Broadband Grant Program: Getting the Rules Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mn-border-to-border-grant-program/

Minneapolis, MN —In its first two years of implementation, the Minnesota Border-to-Border program distributed $30 million to 31 rural Minnesota communities. But the state has not put enough money into the program and needs to put more focus on getting investment in Greater Minnesota cities to spur economic development. “This funding is essential to greater Minnesota… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 18, 2016

RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for new Rural Internet Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-mn-rural-fiber/

21ST CENTURY FARMS REQUIRE 21ST CENTURY CONNECTIVITY. Denied Access by telephone and cable companies, they created a new model. Winthrop, MN — A new trend is emerging in rural communities throughout the United States: Fiber-to-the-Farm. Tired of waiting for real Internet access from big companies, farmers are building it themselves. Communities in and around Minnesota’s… Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2015

Op-ed: Spanish Fork Proves Utah Law is Counter-Productive

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/op-ed-spanish-fork-proves-utah-law-is-counter-productive/

The Salt Lake Tribune published this op-ed championing local investment in Internet infrastructure on December 11, 2015.   Op-ed: Spanish Fork’s success shows municipal Internet networks work By Christopher Mitchell For nearly 10 years, large telephone and cable companies have claimed municipal Internet networks are so risky that local government authority should be restricted. But… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 9, 2015

SandyNet Goes Gig: A Model for Anytown, USA

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sandynet-goes-gig-a-model-for-anytown-usa/

Many of the most beautiful communities in the United States are in remote areas where incumbent cable and telephone companies have decided not to offer modern, high-quality Internet connectivity. Sandy, Ore., is one of them. Some 10,000 people live there among the lush green forests and beautiful vistas of the “Gateway to Mount Hood,” 25… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Oct 1, 2015

Op-Ed: Community Broadband Networks Drive NC Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/op-ed-community-broadband-networks-drive-nc-economy/

The Roanoke Daily Herald published this op-ed about local government action for broadband networks on September 25, 2015. We were responding to an earlier Op-Ed, available here. Christopher Mitchell wrote the following op-ed. It is stunning any legislator can look at the constituents they serve in rural North Carolina and think, “‘These people don’t need… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 31, 2015

Opportunities and Challenges as Lafayette Considers Muni Fiber Expansion – Community Broadband Bits Episode 144

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/opportunities-and-challenges-as-lafayette-considers-muni-fiber-expansion-community-broadband-bits-episode-144/

After we heard that Lafayette’s LUS Fiber was considering expanding to some nearby communities, we knew we had to set up an interview with Terry Huval, Director of the Lafayette Utilities System in Louisiana. In our interview this week, Terry and I discuss Lafayette’s success, the legacy of the law creating special barriers that only… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 17, 2015

Bozeman’s Public-Private Approach In-Depth – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 142

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/bozemans-public-private-approach-in-depth-community-broadband-bits-podcast-142/

In Montana, local businesses and the city of Bozeman have been working on a public-private partnership approach to expanding Internet access that is likely to involve the city building an open access fiber network. We discuss their approach this week with Brit Fontenot, Economic Development Director for the city of Bozeman; David Fine, Bozeman Economic… Continue reading